Friday, November 21, 2014

DIY Manly Beard Oil - For Kissably Soft Beards!

DIY Beard Oil for kissably soft beards! via How To Just About Anything

Throughout high school my husband attended a private school that had pretty stringent standards. Collared shirts had to be buttoned to the top, your hair couldn’t touch your ears, and most importantly, no facial hair! Battling with psoriasis that caused inflamed and highly sensitive skin made daily shaving difficult at best. So when we got married, he announced that he was going to grow a beard.

Instead of making life easier though, he still dealt with sensitive skin, redness and itching on a daily basis. The beardruff and acne were very noticeable and a source of embarrassment for him. And every time I kissed him, I felt like I was kissing a brillo pad. I even avoided kissing him for awhile because it was so uncomfortable, which was of course not good for our marriage.

I knew there had to be a solution. He couldn’t be the only one with beard problems. My research brought me to the wonderful world of beard oil. I spent time researching which essential oils were good for hair, which ones helped with acne, dandruff, redness and patchy growth. My first attempt may have been really good for beards, but it smelled pretty awful!

I have since learned that essential oils have top, middle and base notes that can be combined in particular ratios. This yields a blend that is not only effective, but much more pleasing to the nose.

Get the recipes and read more here at Growing Up Herbal

This article was shared at 12 Days of Christmas blog hop



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Monday, November 17, 2014

DIY Bay Rum Aftershave

DIY Bay Rum Aftershave + Where to Buy it! via: How To Just About Anything

It can be hard to find a Christmas present for that special man in your life. Most "boy toys" are expensive, like snowmobiles, ski's, new TV's and even video games. Those price tags can add up fast!

So what do you get your husband, your brother or your dad this year that won't siphon your wallet and they'll still love? This diy aftershave is a perfect option!

My husband has had a beard for almost a year now (and I love it), but it can get scratchy. Until I made him this beard oil that is. Now it's soft and smells like clove or cedarwood. But for those men who do shave, they don't want to deal with itchy, dry skin either. Enter this aftershave.

Aftershave is designed to tighten the pores after a shave, but the alcohol can usually dry skin out. And most men aren't going to follow it up with a moisturizer. This recipe solves that problem with a super secret ingredient. Okay, it's not really that secret, but it's still pretty awesome.

Glycerin is great for skin because it draws moisture from deep in the skin and brings it up to the epidermis. You'll often find it in body care products and even toothpaste. It's not good for your teeth though, because glycerin doesn't rinse off easily. This prevents enamel from remineralizing, promoting decay and cavities. I make my own toothpaste without glycerin, fluoride, Sodium Laureth Sulfate or other nasties that you can check out here.

Because glycerin is so good at drawing moisture to the skin's surface, it needs to be paired with an oil. The two work together to make skin soft and moisturized. (source)

You would think that moisturizing the skin at the same time as you're toning it would be counterproductive. It's actually not as the ingredients all complement each other to keep skin feeling smooth and nourished.
DIY Bay Rum Aftershave + Where to Buy it! via: How To Just About Anything

Traditional bay rum recipes steep whole herbs and spices in rum for weeks, until their properties and fragrance are extracted. Unfortunately dried bay leaves don't leave much of a scent in an extract, and many of us don't have access to a live bay tree.

I've used essential oils instead, which are natural, powerful and highly effective. Not all essential oils are created equal though. At first I bought a cheap brand of bay rum to use for this, but as soon as I opened the bottle I knew it was a big mistake. It smelled like straight up chemical solvent! As I dumped it in the sink, the mysterious dark brown liquid left a stain and foul odor that lingered for hours.

From now on I stick with a quality company. See where I buy my essential oils here, and why this brand stood out to me here. I'll also sometimes buy organic oils from this company.

I found some really neat amber glass bottles from a bulk supply store, but you can also buy a few bottles from Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs for a good price.

Bay Rum After Shave
  •  7.5 oz Witch hazel
  • 1 tsp Glycerin
  • 1 tsp Sweet almond oil
  • 2 Tbsp Spiced rum
  • 1 drop bay essential oil
  • 1 drop lime essential oil
  • 1 drop orange essential oil
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 2 drops vanilla essential oil
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil
  1. Combine all ingredients in an 8 oz bottle and shake thoroughly to combine.
  2. Shake well before each use. Apply a dime or quarter size amount to palms and splash over freshly shaved skin.
Short on Time?

Don't have the time or energy to put this after shave together? It's available ready made in my Etsy shop, just in time for a Christmas present for your favorite man! Check out my other featured store items for some great gift ideas.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Easy Lotion Bar Recipe

 

I remember when I first heard of hard lotion. "Lotion's not hard. What is this stuff? It sounds ridiculous!" But then I tried it.

No mess, no goop and nothing your toddler can smear all over your bedroom wall. No one's had that happen, right? All in a convenient little bar.  

   These are perfect to throw in your purse or the diaper bag to whip out whenever you get that itchy, dry skin feeling. I also like keeping one by the sink next to my semi-handmade hand soap to moisturize my hands after I do the dishes or get some cleaning done. I hate using cleaning gloves, and I feel safe not doing so since I make my own cleaners, but it can make my hands dry.

   Use a mold and these bars look so elegant and chic in a guest bathroom. You can even include it with some diy whipped body butter and this room and linen spray in a little basket left in the guest room. Perfect for welcoming any overnight guests. They're really so simple to put together, but the results are impressive.  

  I’ve recently discovered the world of essential oils and they're super useful, especially with homemade body care products. If you prefer to use herbs though, this is a great way to use an infused oil. Calendula is my go to herb for skin care since it’s great for a plethora of skin issues. I use it along with lavender and plantain to make a salve to help with diaper rashes and eczema. 

 

Below are some herbs and essential oils you can use in your lotion bars. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s enough to get you started. Even though some of these are good for rashes and broken skin, I can’t recommend rubbing a hard lotion bar on broken skin as it will most likely irritate the area more.  

Where To Get Essential Oils

There are many places to buy essential oils, but I would recommend to NOT buy the cheapest oils you find! They're cheap for a reason. They can be contaminated with chemicals or thinned with a cheap carrier oil. I buy my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs and doTERRA because they're effective and high quality. Read more about why I chose doTERRA here. I know I don't want to spend time and money putting a product together with cheap ingredients that don't work well!

Read more at Real Food Outlaws


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Peppermint Sugar Scrub


Peppermint Sugar Scrub : via How To Just About Anything

I believe that there’s a little Martha Stewart in all of us. Sure we have those days where simply getting dressed in the morning is a major accomplishment. For those in the baby stage of life getting dressed in the morning is definitely a major accomplishment. And 5,000 brownie points to you if that includes NOT getting your shirt covered in spit up, or baby food, or goopy cheerios. You get the idea. 

It’s hard to manage everything that’s thrown at us, but sometimes it’s nice to take a breather and do something fun. Even better is when doing that something fun results is being able to check “make awesome homemade Christmas gifts for everyone” off your list. AND you’re done in less than 15 minutes. Unless you have an absolutely ginormous Christmas list. That I can’t help you with.

These sugar scrubs smell amazing, they’re festive and you can easily whip up a batch of 20-30 in no time. Or make a few for yourself to enjoy.  

Peppermint Sugar Scrub : via How To Just About Anything

Peppermint isn’t just a great holiday scent, but it’s fresh and invigorating. According to this it’s also great for dull skin and managing oily skin.  I like using a peppermint toner in the mornings to help wake me up while I tighten my pores. I also use this whipped body butter with peppermint oil in it every day to help with my stretch marks. You can even use it in a diy room spray to help promote mental focus.


Note about essential oils: There are many places to buy essential oils, but I would recommend to NOT buy the cheapest oils you find! They're cheap for a reason. They can be contaminated with chemicals or thinned with a cheap carrier oil. I buy my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs and doTERRA because they're effective and high quality. Read more about why I chose doTERRA here. I know I don't want to spend time and money putting a product together with cheap ingredients that don't work well


 Read the rest at Red And Honey

This post was shared with the Homegrown and Healthy 12 days of diy Christmas blog hop


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Turn Junk Mail into Handmade Paper

turn junkmail into beautiful handmade paper via: How To Just About Anything

Handmade paper– we’ve all admired it, thought how pretty it was and thought “I could probably do that.” Thinking and doing are two different things though. Making your own handmade paper puts you into one of those DIY Superwoman categories, doesn’t it? I’m here to tell you, we can all be DIY Superwomen.

This project takes some time, but it really is easy peasy. When you’re done the results are gorgeous and you’ll get the response “You made THAT?!” from everyone you show it to and you too can live the illusion of being a DIY Superwoman (it’s a pretty terrific feeling!).

This DIY is great for the environment, which is always a plus in my book. Sort through your office and filing cabinets, gather all of your outdated, confidential, top secret bills and documents, sift through campaign brochures, pull junk mail out of the recycling, and get ready  for this fabulous handmade paper project. (Just don’t use your electric bills and credit card statement. I know we’d all like to get rid of them, but this project is not the solution).

It’s also a great craft to do with the kids. I remember doing it at a friend’s house and dipping the screen frames into a kiddie pool full of paper slush. Talk about messy fun, so gather the whole family around and have a DIY handmade paper party!

There are several ways to do this to really customize the look you want. You can add flowers and leaves to give it an even more natural look. Cutout pieces of your handmade paper for the perfect accent to your yearly Christmas card, or as a place card at the table this Thanksgiving.

Read more at Scratch Mommy





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